June 24, 2012 8 Comments
Parenting with joy and grace
June 20, 2012 14 Comments
I haven’t linked into the Gallery for absolute ages. This week’s theme got me really excited, actually, as I tried to recall if I have any family photos I can use. Not of our tiny family unit, for a change, but of our big Romanian and Greek family units. I even woke up early a few mornings ago and found myself counting…cousins. I think I counted them all in when I say I have 14 on my mother’s side and 10 on my dad’s side. Unfortunately, last time I saw my dad’s family together was before the digital camera age so I have nothing on them .
Anyway, here goes, my family theme for this week.
June 20, 2012 Leave a comment
I can’t remember last time I saw a movie in a cinema. Oh wait, something vague is coming to mind…it’s been a few months at least. Anyway, last night I just decided to go solo, left toddler with hubby for the last half an hour of her awake time and fled the house. Quite literally. Gooodness knows when I’ll be able to do this next, with us travelling to a different country and all…
I didn’t have much time to check reviews on what’s good of all the movies that are out at the moment. What to expect had a cute trailer. Although seeing it I didn’t expect much ,to be honest, as I know trailers generally contain the best bits in the movie and I wasn’t particularly impressed by it.
Okay, it had a large number of cliches ( all American movies do, I’m afraid): the rich and famous father who married a
slut much younger woman and the scarred for life by his father’s behaviour son; the clueless father-gang thing protecting each other’s back sides(Daddy Day Care popped to mind); the bitches more fortunate women for whom pregnancy means a healthy glow and an almost instant delivery; the mother/monster type of woman whose life centers around baby and keeping husband on tight leash.
It also had a lot of truths in it and as a woman who’s been through pregnancy, delivery and the lot I was actually impressed by how accurate the movie was in pinpointing them:
1. Forget about what all the pregnancy books say you should look, feel and expect when you’re expecting. Every woman is different and she will look, feel and process things in her own unique way. Some have it easy, some have it tough, it’s the way life is!
2. Becoming parents doesn’t happen only one way. The movie follows a couple through the emotional(and a tad hilarious) process of adoption and very candidly includes them in the parenthood gang. As I see it, adoption is way underrated as the less acceptable way of having a child and the movie manages to raise awareness on the subject in a very natural way.
3. Losing a baby during the first stages of pregnancy is another almost taboo subject because of its delicacy and intricacy. Another point from me for including the couple who loses the baby and their pain and struggle amongst the other couples until the end.
4. For those of us who had a “normal” pregnancy and delivery, the girl who “calls pregnancy glow for what it really is: bullshit!” is highly inspirational. You can have it worse, girls, we, at least, didn’t pee ourselves throughout the pregnancy . But we got everything else, from tiredness to hemorrhoids to…okay, better stop there, right?
5. For those of us who had a “magical” pregnancy and an easy delivery, well, it’s not like you did anything to deserve it, right, it’s the way your body worked!!!
I was surprised that an American movie designed for a very wide audience offered a bit more depth than expected. And it probably offered those giggling teenagers in the audience a better view of what it really means to become(or be unable to become) pregnant, with all its array of joys and deep issues. Although judging by their careless giggles later on in the toilet and by the instances they chose to recall(“I peed myself, I peed myself!! Hihihihi”) I had this overbearing feeling it didn’t really sink in. It never really does,anyway, does it, not until you’re there ??
June 13, 2012 3 Comments
Okay, one more week and we’ll be leaving this house. Although located in an ideal location and an enviable neighbourhood, it proved to be more an in-between station for me and less of a home.We knew we were going to move on eventually and I never managed to accept it as more than what it was, a temporary stop.
I also found the transition from having our own home to renting especially tough since I come from a family that never rented. It’s a Romanian thing, a legacy from the Communist times when everybody had to have a job and an apartment they would have usually payed during their working years. That goes to show you that ideas we were raised with and that were drummed into us as children stay with us for a lifetime and influence our happiness.
It’s been some very interesting eight months with loads of ups and downs and many epiphanies. We lost what we both held dearest on the day we moved: my home and hubby’s successful business. We moaned and mourned together but not before we stripped down our relationship of all civility(at times) and nonsense. We made up in a state of nakedness of spirit because there was nothing to hide behind anymore. And we discussed repeatedly and in depth about where we should be moving next. It was a lengthy and tedious process because we had to consider not only our own preferences but each other’s and Emma’s. Finances. Economical and political circumstances. Churches we could integrate into and places where we BOTH had memories, connections, family, friends. Places where we could shape a future for Emma and for ourselves.
Anyway, it’s time I packed once again. Here is what I learned from moving four times in the last ten years:
1. Start early and stay organised. Don’t leave anything for the week before you move. We did it once and we ended up with things thrown in black bags because there was no time to pack into boxes.
2. Throw away what you don’t use/don’t need anymore! Had to do this for my mum and dad when they moved as I found things from when we were babies. They kept them “just in case we’ll need them again.” Seriously, baby clothes?!?
3. Keep what has sentimental value or you have paid a lot of money for. I have kept some of Emma’s baby clothes and shoes and the toys I paid a lot for. Just in case I’ll have another wee one…
4. We have found that packing into clear boxes keep everything tidy and easy to find when you unpack. Keep everything into room boxes, clearly labeled so that if you use a removal company the boxes end up in the right room.
5. Use a removal company!!It’s £50/hour but if you’re organised they’re finished in a few hours and your house is ready to move in almost instantly.
6. Wrap up your kitchen things in bubble wrap or similar material. Pack tightly so nothing moves during the move and gets broken.
7. Keep packaging when you buy T.V.s, kids’ toys, printers…etc. It’s easier and safer to move loose or big items in their initial packaging than in random boxes.
8. Recruit help if have a lot of stuff or are not particularly organised.
9. Be mindful of things you use till the last moment(bed linen, cutlery and toiletries); they account for last minute delays and frustration. Leave room in your car for them(if you move near) or an extra box(if you move far from your last location).
10. If you hate the process, just remember, it will all pass, just like anything else
I will share some of my “packing” photos, just to show you what I mean.
June 4, 2012 4 Comments
….is that they develop so fast that you can hardly keep up with them. In the last three weeks or so we noticed Emms taking giant leaps in her speech and her imaginative play development. She has moved from two-three word sentences like “Mummy, water, peeease” to full-blown speech and coherent thoughts. It started with daddy getting it all in stereo: “Alex, can you hurry up, please?”… “Daaaaaaddyyy, hurry up!!!” If you find that amusing try imagining two women raging and stomping their feet at you in the same time… poor guy. It went on to Emms trying to put words together on her own, sometimes successfully, sometimes less so and sounding like a slurred drunk: “Mummy, me go shopping…take bag…need money..okay???”
Today I was washing the dishes after breakfast when I heard her say: “Mummy, there’s a big dinosaur.” I thought she was just imagining it. Daddy has been playing this “Peppa Pig living in a castle” game with her and her imagination sparks like fireworks when you least expect it. Daddy stepped in and he was promptly informed: “Daddy, there’s a big dinosaur.” “Oh, what colour, Emma?” “White, daddy.” She was still sitting at the breakfast table and she was pointing at a funnily-shaped cloud in the sky. “Oh, Emma is the dinosaur up in the sky?” “Yes, daddy.” “It’s an enormous one, Emma.” “Yes, daddy, it’s a massi one.” Never losing a chance to introduce new vocabulary I stepped in: “It’s an enormous one, Emma.” “No, mummy, not an enormous one. A massi(ve) one.”
What I also noticed is that Emms seems to remember things we have read together and makes connections between abstract concepts and reality. We read about shapes this Thursday in the library and this evening she pointed at a jar lid on the table and she said: “There’s a circle, mummy.”
I find our toddlers much more intellectually developed than we were at their age. I know our neighbour next door (two and a half as well) can count to 20 already and she could recognise colours from early in the year. What do you think? Do you have a clever toddler? What would you advise mummies when it comes to stimulating clever toddlers?
P.S.- if you’re wondering about the redness on her cheek, no, it’s not sunburn. She’s got scarlet fever from Friday. I didn’t even know this was around anymore but here you go…You know where to find it now…It’s contagious so stay away for a while .
P.S.2-today I am linking into Tuesday Tots, at Growing a Jeweled Rose, please click link or badge in the right hand side column for loads of creative and fun ideas to entertain your clever toddler!